2018 was a rough one for me.
Probably the roughest year I’ve had since college (so in a little over 10 years).
(I’d say that’s a great accomplishment in itself, to have not had such a bad year in over 10 years.)
I turned 30 in 2018. I really thought I’d have everything figured out but the time I was 30.
Instead, I realized that I’ve been completely and utterly lost.
Ok, that’s an exaggeration. I have multiple businesses and three happy, healthy kids.
I accomplished less than ever in 2018, and not because I was trying to take it easy. In fact I was trying to do the opposite, yet somehow I just kept spinning my wheels.
It’s all ok, because despite that, I’ve come really far in life and I even managed to do a bunch of great things this year.
I’ll start with the “good” stuff – my GLOWS!
*Five Glows for 2018*
1.) Started running and ran my first half marathon
I see this as my biggest accomplishment for the year. I’d never been a runner before – or even run more than 1-2 miles once or twice per YEAR.
I ran 13 miles (half marathon) on thanksgiving day in Los Angeles, on the beach. It was as romantic and blissful as I imagined it to be.
However I didn’t start out with these positive intentions.
I really just had anxiety that had gotten completely out of hand. I stopped sleeping through the night (which is huge for me, as I’m a super fan of sleep). If I’m stressed out, I sleep more, not less. The insomnia was a huge red flag for me. And what did I do? I started running.
To be honest, the running didn’t cure the anxiety. At least not in the short term. But it did give me something healthy to do while my mind was running on its hamster wheel.
As of now, I’m doing better than ever, so the long term impact is probably there. Although I’ve changed so many things about my life that it’s hard to put a finger on what exactly caused the positive outcome.
2.) Visited 7 countries and 3 states
Looking back over the year, I initially felt so unaccomplished and disappointed. Then over dinner on New Years Eve we decided to talk to the kids about their favorite parts of the year.
We did so much.
We started off by spending two wonderful weeks in Costa Rica going on a myriad of adventures. I think this was probably everyone’s most favorite part of the year.
For spring break we toured Seattle and Portland.
We spent 3-weeks of our summer in Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and The Netherlands.
We visited family in Arkansas, friends in Minnesota, and California.
How many planes did we go on???
3.) I was a fairly respectable mom
Sure, I completely dropped the ball on my career.
But I took care of my kids!
The kids had their first piano recital. Addie is taking ballet. They took science and utterly loved it.
I created 16 “stations” around the house. They eat pretty healthy. We take them to the doctor to get check-ups.
We created responsibilities and jobs.
We had great birthday parties.
I took part in school parties and events.
I didn’t go on Pinterest even a single time. So I think that goes against me. AH, WELL, ITS PROBABLY BETTER THAT WAY.
4.) I learned a lot – I read 26 books.
Check them out:
Plus a few on my Kindle:
Discover Your Why
The Courage to Be Disliked
5.) I grew spiritually by leaps and bounds
I realized that I’m not the end goal. I’m just a small part of the universe.
That’s a relief because it means that I don’t have to do something crazy BIG.
I also discovered that I can’t find happiness externally.
…I started meditating!
I created a list of my life values and read them every day.
I realized that I truly don’t know very much. Not at all.
And I may as well live my life true to my heart because, well…
*Ok, Time for My “Grows”*
(This is a nice way of saying, bad stuff that happened and crazy mistakes I made. But at least I learned from them, right?)
1.) I pretty much stopped earning money so that I could self-reflect, I drove our finances into the ground, and then put all the pressure on my husband to pick up the pieces.
Yeah, I don’t have much else to say about that.
2.) Started lots of ideas and quit them within 3 weeks or less.
In my defense, all the ideas I came up with were not true to my calling, therefore it’s better that I didn’t follow through.
(Thats my attempt at an excuse)
In reality, I wasted time, wasted other people’s time, spent lots of money with no return, and drove Josh completely insane.
I had no routine or stability. I never fully committed to anything.
My biggest achievement of the year was both an epic success and epic failure. Financially, it was rolling just like I planned. But I hated it. I didn’t believe in what I was doing. At all.
It even kept me up at night. It made me anxious enough to run.
So I quit everything I was doing, and left all the money and time invested on the table.
3.) I continued to look externally for happiness when it was staring me in the face to cut that shit out.
You know that statistic, after reaching a 75k per year salary, that money doesn’t bring you anymore happiness? I realized that money wasn’t bringing me happiness anymore. It just wasn’t doing the trick like it used to.
So I looked elsewhere…
- Will traveling bring me that joy?
- Expensive designer clothing and accessories?
- New business plans that earn more than ever before?
- A complete career change?
- New friends?
- Setting bigger crazier goals, like meeting a celebrity or moving out of state?
Nothing worked. Nothing.
According to Carl Jung, this is referred to as the “addict archetype.”
Its when you continually look outside yourself for happiness and life satisfaction. This can be in the form of material possessions, relationships, money, drugs/alcohol, and achievements.
I believe I had been living this archetype for the past several years.
Believe me when I tell you I was not happy to realize that I had to stop looking outward, and start looking within. That means that my happiness is my own responsibility, regardless of my life situation. It means taking responsibility for yourself in a whole new way.
So instead of chasing after success…
…I realized I need to look inward, and create myself into something highly valuable. Valuable to myself, and to others.
Because no amount of money, achievement, friends, vacations, or posessions will change whats within in me.
4.) I made (and lost) my first *real* friend in a decade
I’ve struggled a lot with a lack of friendship in my life. I’m not complaining – it is of course my own fault. I’ve had my focus elsewhere. And thats fine.
This year I made the best new friend I have had since college. It was so unexpected and so lovely.
But…I also managed to lose that friend.
This has of course caused me lots of reflection.
The first new person I decided to let into my life and my heart, made the choice to leave me behind!
Now okay…I hadn’t BEEN an “every day” kind of friend to someone in…years. I was a bit rusty. I think sometimes my clinginess made it weird.
I did what I could to try and repair it. I thought we could talk it out and both learn and grow and become closer and be better friends. I thought we were like sisters, and sisters fight sometimes right?
I think sometimes it just doesn’t work like that. .
But now I am reminded of how special friendship can be! I really want a couple of soul sisters. Another family to join us on vacations and camping trips…holidays…birthdays….you know….life long friends!
So I will try again, and next time try to be a better friend than before.
5.) I let my marriage grow apart.
I’m not going to get into all the nitty gritty details.
But basically, I [sub]consciously decided (for many reasons) to close the emotional door on my relationship.
I was still there physically, mentally, as a parent, partner, a companion.
But I was gone emotionally.
I didn’t support him.
I didn’t enjoy his company.
I didn’t give him my energy.
I didn’t involve him in my goals or dreams or inner world.
Yet he was there the entire year to pick me up off the ground, have 4-hour long conversations about what was going wrong in my life, support me financially, support all my ideas, and basically act as my 24/7 on call therapist.
And meanwhile he managed to launch an app, help with the kids (50% or much more) and handled all our SEO clients and staff.
Now, I’m not saying he is perfect.
We have problems, and that is because there are two of us.
We have decided that we only really have one option, and that is to understand each other better. We both want to keep growing as people too. So not only to we have to understand each other better, but we have to keep up with our new development. It’s tough.
“Human relationships can be hell, or they can be a great spiritual practice”
We are also eliminating some codependency stuff which is hard on so many levels. Abusive stuff. Damaging stuff. We have ingrained patterns. These patterns are not only challenging, but painful to break.
We’re committed to all this. Which means we’ve made some pretty big changes in our day to day life to reflect this. So that we don’t fall into familiar patterns. So that every day, we remember what we’re working toward.
Life is different.
But thats so all this doesn’t just fall by the wayside – until it comes up again in the middle of some stupid argument about Christmas cookies.